hello world programme

Discussion in 'C Programming' started by arnuld, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. arnuld

    arnuld Guest

    i compiled the "hello world" programme from K&R2:


    int main() {

    printf("hello world\n");


    now i compiled it using: /gcc hello.c/

    eveything went fine and programme ran.

    when i compiled using:
    arnuld, Feb 12, 2007
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  2. arnuld

    Ben Pfaff Guest

    The main function should return a value, but you didn't provide a
    return statement.
    Ben Pfaff, Feb 12, 2007
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  3. You declared main() as returning an int, but you failed to use
    return to return a value from main.
    Walter Roberson, Feb 12, 2007
  4. arnuld

    arnuld Guest

    so ANSI C requires it.

    Ha....Ha.... that's means my program
    arnuld, Feb 12, 2007
  5. No, main is special. In C89, failure to return a value results in
    undefined behaviour -- the operating system might pick up any random
    return status, and the operating system might do strange things
    with some of the odd statuses.

    In C99, failure to return a value from main is the same as returning 0.
    However, in C99, you cannot define functions with the empty parameter
    list; you would need int main(void) I believe.

    Notice that what you got was a warning, not an error: a warning
    is a note from the compiler to the effect of "Usually when I see
    this pattern of code, a mistake has been made or something has been
    overlooked, but you are the boss so I've gone ahead and compiled it
    anyhow. I don't promise that what I interpreted it as is the
    same as what you were expecting it to do, so you should probably
    check this bit of code over carefully!"
    Walter Roberson, Feb 12, 2007
  6. arnuld

    Default User Guest

    It's telling you that you didn't return a value from a function that is
    expected to do so. In C89, I believe this was legal for any function to
    hit the end brace, which was the equivalent of a return with no
    expression. That was legal under that standard, although undefined
    behavior to use the return value.

    In C99, they tightened that up and it's not legal to do any of that for
    most functions, however there is an explicit exception for main() so
    that it is equivalent to returning 0.

    At any rate, the implementation is allowed to issue any diagnostics it
    likes. As not having the return there may be an indication that the
    programmer forgot, it's useful. For C89 implementations, that
    indeterminant return value to the host system could be a problem.

    Easy and desirable fix, add in at the end:

    return 0;

    Default User, Feb 12, 2007
  7. Walter Roberson said:

    Chapter and verse, please. I think you're getting mixed up with implicit
    int being dropped.
    Richard Heathfield, Feb 12, 2007
  8. No, it merely causes an unspecified status to be returned to the
    calling environment.

    Keith Thompson, Feb 12, 2007
  9. I just croschecked C89, and the wording is that the status value
    returned is "undefined". So we are into the nitty gritty of exactly
    what "undefined behaviour" is.

    If it had used the wording you used, that the value was "unspecified",
    the implication would be that there was -some- value that would be
    returned -- possibly not a constant value, but that it'll get

    But as the wording says "undefined", I would take that as license for
    the compiler to do something like attempt to grab a value from where it
    -expects- a return value would be, and if the grabbing happens
    upon a trapping value, then a trap could happen.

    Hypothesize an implementation in which the ABI was such that
    parameters were returned by setting a register to a pointer
    to a return area (useful for passing back large structs, for example.)
    It could be, even, that the calling routine was responsible for
    allocating space for the return parameters and passing in that
    pointer to the called routine, and that the called routine was
    expected to save and return that pointer. Then the C 'return'
    statement could be translated [in this scheme] into retrieving that
    saved pointer, saving the return value there, and returning the pointer.
    But in this scheme, if there was no 'return' then the register
    used to return the pointer might get left in a random state,
    possibly holding a value that, if interpreted as an address, would
    result in a page fault. It seems to me that the "undefined"
    wording of C89 would allow the fault -- i.e., "undefined behaviour",
    whereas if the value is merely "unspecified" then although garbage
    might get returned, a fault at that point would not be valid.
    Walter Roberson, Feb 12, 2007
  10. Or possibly 6.11.6p1...

    The use of function declarators with empty parentheses (not
    prototype-format parameter type declarators) is an obsolescent

    This was deprecated in C90 and remains so in C99. Despite the
    warnings, it's unlikely to ever be removed from C. What is slightly
    more likely is that C will ultimately follow C++'s rule that an
    empty parameter list will be a prototype for a function taking
    no parameters. When I say slightly more likely, I still think the
    removal is highly unlikely since there are quite a few C programs
    that actually rely on the current behaviour, whether the construct
    is deprecated or otherwise.
    Peter Nilsson, Feb 12, 2007
  11. arnuld

    Guest Guest

    Is the return status undefined, or is the behaviour undefined? Only if
    the latter are all bets off.
    Guest, Feb 12, 2007
  12. Yes, that's a bit tricky. The standard defines the phrase "undefined
    behavior", but not the word "undefined". If this hadn't been
    superseded by C99, I'd argue that the wording needs to be cleaned up.
    There's no such thing as a "trapping value". A "trap representation",
    by definition, does not represent a value at all. My interpretation
    is that the "undefined value" returned by "int main(void){}" cannot be
    a trap representation.

    This means, I suppose, that a conforming C90 implementation that
    returns the contents of some arbitrary location would have to take
    care that that location doesn't contain a trap representation -- but
    this restriction has no effect on the vast majority of implementations
    on which type int has no trap representations.

    Keith Thompson, Feb 12, 2007
  13. arnuld

    Default User Guest

    Default User, Feb 12, 2007
  14. Harald van D?k said:
    The former, so all bets are back on. We did this discussion a few years
    ago. (I seem to recall that I lost.)
    Richard Heathfield, Feb 13, 2007
  15. Peter Nilsson said:

    I'm delighted to hear you say so, because if it did happen it would
    effectively outlaw generic function pointers. Bad plan, ISO! No
    Richard Heathfield, Feb 13, 2007
  16. arnuld

    Daniel Rudy Guest

    At about the time of 2/12/2007 8:40 AM, arnuld stated the following:
    The warning is a diagnostic message from the compiler that indicates
    that a function that was defined as returning a value isn't.

    You need to be *VERY* careful with this. Some operating systems will do
    strange things depending on what it gets back. One case in point was
    returning some arbitrary negative value that caused the ELF loader to
    die with a segmentation fault, which then forced the kernel into a panic

    This demonstrated a bug in the underlying operating system, but it also
    demonstrates that if you define a function as returning a value, then
    return a value, even if it's 0 (or NULL in the case of a pointer).

    Daniel Rudy

    Email address has been base64 encoded to reduce spam
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    Why geeks like computers: look chat date touch grep make unzip
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    Daniel Rudy, Feb 13, 2007
  17. Would it? Isn't there a difference between a function declarator and a
    pointer to a function?
    Mark McIntyre

    "Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place.
    Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are,
    by definition, not smart enough to debug it."
    --Brian Kernighan
    Mark McIntyre, Feb 13, 2007
  18. Mark McIntyre said:
    Function pointers are created using function declarators. See or
    its C99 equivalent.
    Richard Heathfield, Feb 13, 2007
  19. .... in the C code; since the initial call of main is (somehow) from
    the environment it instead gives undefined termination status. (This
    is still a bad thing, it's just a different bad thing from UB.)
    It is still legal but undesirable to hit the end brace of a non-void
    function, which returns indeterminate value and using it is UB. What
    changed is that an actual return statement in a non-void function can
    no longer omit the expression (of or convertible to the return type).

    And as you say, as a special case, end brace of main returns 0.
    Actually this is only required _for the initial call_, but recursive
    calls to main are almost always a bad idea anyway.

    <snip rest>

    - formerly david.thompson1 || achar(64) || worldnet.att.net
    David Thompson, Feb 26, 2007
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